Department of Mathematics

Math 300: Mathematical Computing

Math 300 Syllabus

Course prefix and number:
MATH 300
Course title:
Mathematical Computation
Number of credits:
UCORE category:
Course prerequisite:
MATH 220 or MATH 230
Current semester and year:
Fall 2022
Meeting schedule:
2:10-3:00 PM, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
Building and room
Spark 212
Kevin Cooper
Neill 322
Office Hours:
3:15-4:15 MWF. I plan to be on Zoom on Wednesdays, or by special request. If you can't make those times, make an appointment.
Required text materials:
Student learning outcomes and assessment:
At the end of this course, students will be able to: The following topics will address this outcome: This outcome will be evaluated primarily by:
work on remote computers. VPN, SSH, SFTP questions on the first quiz and both tests.
communicate mathematics effectively using the world wide web. HTML, CSS, MathJax two or three homework assignments, together with questions on the first quiz and both tests.
understand simple concepts of networked computing discussion of DNS, TCP, IP, binary, decimal, and hexadecimal arithmetic questions on first quiz and both tests
communicate mathematics effectively using mathematical typesetting languages. LaTeX two homework assignments, together with questions on both tests. In addition to these assignments that focus exclusively on writing and LaTeX, there are other assignments that have components comprising papers describing the results, rendered in LaTeX.
understand the rudiments of writing mathematical computer programs. Matlab, Python, including SymPy. six homework assignments, questions on the second quiz, and questions on the last test.
Use AI to improve productivity All topics ChatGPT will be used to assist with all assignments.
Expectations for student effort:
You should expect to spend 2-5 hours per week on homework and test preparation.
Week to week course outline:
This table is a guideline only. We will spend more or less time on topics as required by student needs, and quizzes and tests will be scheduled in consultation with students.
3Networking Concepts, Base n arithmetic
6LaTeX, Quiz 1
7Matlab Basics
8Mathematical writing, Matlab/Octave
11Python, Quiz 2
14Python, Python/SymPy
15Python/SymPy, review
16Test, at time in Academic Calendar
Description of required assignments:
There will be one test worth a total of 100 points, and two quizzes worth 75 points apiece. There will be several assignments worth 400-500 points. These will typically fall into one of a few distinct categories.
  • Typeset some document for which we provide an image as a template.
  • Write some functions according to strict specifications.
  • Solve some open-ended mathematical problem, and write about the solution and how you found it. These assignments are much more extensive than the other classes of problems, and involve a substantial writing component. ChatGPT loves this stuff.
There will also be periodic In-Class Exercises worth a minimal number of points.
Grading policy:
PercentageGuaranteed Grade
The policy regarding grades is to line percentages up in numerical order, and draw lines between grades in the gaps. This means that if your friend has a 93.01% she will get an A, but in that situation, if you have 92.97%, you will probably also get an A. To summarize, scores that are very close will receive the same grade. I also reserve the right to be merciful: there have been semesters when scores as low as 91% still received an A because I felt that a test contained a question that was misunderstood, or more difficult than I had anticipated.
Late assignments
Assignments are turned in electronically. There will always be a deadline for an assignment, but an assignment coming in after the deadline receives no penalty until after the first batch of assignments is graded. Any assignments received after the initial bunch is graded, but before they have been returned, incurs a 10% penalty. Once graded assignments are returned, those who missed the deadline can still submit the assignment, but their work receives a 20% penalty. One week after the deadline or when solutions to an assignment are posted (whichever comes first), then no further submissions are accepted.
Attendance policy:
None. We are adults now. Class time is useful for a variety of reasons, but if you disagree then you are free to use your time as you find most valuable. Be aware that the assignments will often specifically feature concepts and problem approaches that we have discussed in class.
WSU reasonable accomodations statement:
" Students with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. If you have a disability and need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please either visit or call the Access Center at 509-335-3417, Washington Building 217;, to schedule an appointment with an Access Advisor. All accommodations MUST be approved through the Access Center."
WSU academic integrity statement:
"Academic integrity is the cornerstone of higher education. As such, all members of the university community share responsibility for maintaining and promoting the principles of integrity in all activities, including academic integrity and honest scholarship. Academic integrity will be strongly enforced in this course. Students who violate WSU's Academic Integrity Policy (identified in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 504-26-010(3) and -404) will receive scores of zero on on the assignment or test in question. they will not have the option to withdraw from the course pending an appeal, and will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct. Cheating includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism and unauthorized collaboration as defined in the Standards of Conduct for Students, WAC 504-26-010(3). You need to read and understand all of the definitions of cheating. If you have any questions about what is and is not allowed in this course, you should ask course instructors before proceeding. If you wish to appeal a faculty member's decision relating to academic integrity, please use the form available at"
Course statement on collaboration:
Collaboration is one of the best ways to learn, and I encourage it on assignments. I can tell the difference between collaboration and plagiarism when your work and that of your collaborator are substantially different; when I witness you and your collaborator working together; and perhaps most importantly, when you identify your collaborator in your work. Put comments in your code; put acknowledgements in your papers. No collaboration is permitted on tests or quizzes.
Safety and emergency notification:
Classroom and campus safety are of paramount importance at Washington State University, and are the shared responsibility of the entire campus population. WSU urges students to follow the "Alert, Assess, Act," protocol for all types of emergencies and the "Run, Hide, Fight" response for an active shooter incident. Remain ALERT (through direct observation or emergency notification), ASSESS your specific situation, and ACT in the most appropriate way to assure your own safety (and the safety of others if you are able).
Please sign up for emergency alerts on your account at MyWSU. For more information on this subject, campus safety, and related topics, please view the FBI's Run, Hide, Fight video and visit the WSU safety portal.

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